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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son, 16 months old now, has eating issues due to his developmental delay. He won't chew, won't drink from a cup, bottle, straw, etc. He is on a basically all liquid diet (smoothies, soups, yogurt, etc.) but I've been told by his physical therapist that getting him to drink from a straw will help build his mouth muscles and oral motor skills. But he won't even let me get the straw into his mouth let alone know to suck on it.<br><br>
Does anyone have any ideas? We see the occupational therapist next week but I doubt that after one meeting she will have this problem conquered and I don't wanna wait. Thanks!
 

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Dd liked to drink things from a straw "little baby bird" style - hold it up with my finger over the end to stop the water from running out, and she would tip her head back and open her mouth. This progressed to her actively sucking at the straw rather than just letting things run into her mouth, and once I realised she was applying suction then I let her try drinking with the straw from a cup. To my surprise, she could. Figuring out when to stop sucking (rather than just keep drinking til it was empty) took a little while.<br>
Not sure if it will work for your DS, but maybe since you don't have to actually put the straw in his mouth to begin with, and there is instant gratification of something coming out of the straw, it would encourage him to see straws in a more positive light.<br>
Angela
 

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We started trying to get DD using a straw before a year....we would put a little liquid from our drink into the straw and hold it up to her mouth..then let a little out and close the top with your finger again to stop the flow and see if she would suck on it. Soon enough she figured it out and we began putting the straw in a cup. It took longer for her to get the connection of getting the liquid out of the cup directly through the straw, if that makes sense.<br><br>
Just keep practicing....he'll get it!
 

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Ds drank from a cup before he learned to drink from a straw. He also did not do sippy cup. If you child is any like ds, he does not like to be taught. We brought home a few straws and use them like toys, stack them, make stuff out of them and drink out of them. Weeks later, ds decided to try drinking with them and he did. A little too much water at first and he was shocked. Then he got better and better at controlling the amount of water. I hope you will find a way that works for your little one.
 

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We got a few Tupperware cups with straw holes. They are pretty leak proof but some dribbling might occur. We filled them with water and left them around the house. Dd, in her quest to explore everything with her mouth, eventually figured out how to suck the straw to get water out. She never did figure out sippy cups so this was our solution.<br><br>
Yooper
 

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I left a non-spill straw cup (with a soft silicone straw) out as a plaything -- just washed and refilled it with fresh water every day or so. DS (at around 8-10 mos) just nibbled on the straw at first and then taught himself how to suck from it. I think it took at least a couple of weeks of playing with it, and then he figured it out.<br><br>
Find a soft silicone straw if you can -- the cheap straws are great right now, but when they're just playing with it, they chew on it first and the cheap ones just break and crack, and then don't work properly.
 

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my sister and I got ours to get to the "a-ha" moment about *how* to use a straw using thick things like milkshakes or frozen slushes, because it doesn't all fall to the bottom when they let go...it helps when they're experimenting with you to get the liquid out. After a time or two, we could use regular drinks like water.
 

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my ds had low tone and we wanted to work on straws for the same reason but we were afraid he's aspirate if we used a regular liquid so we used a milkshake.<br><br>
it's great b/c even when they give up for a minute the liquid stays in the straw.<br><br>
the therapist should be able to give you some ideas if he refuses to even put the straw in his mouth he may need more oral stimulation with other toys... have you tried dog toys? they are usually so nice and nubby and get them more used to different textures in their mouths<br><br>
are you seeing a speech therapist too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've tried doing the baby bird style but he just bats the straw away and won't let me get it near his mouth. He doesn't like anything near his mouth and doesn't put things in his mouth to explore them.<br><br>
But hopefully the OT can help us with that. I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions ladies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
As for speech therapy, the state I live in has a really long waiting list for aid. They said we would look into speech therapy in a few months. He will say, "Dis" and "Dat" and that's about it. Not even mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I was lucky and my daughter took to the straw well, so I don't have a lot of experience to draw advice from. BUT, I found a product that might be of some help....Rubbermaid makes a "leakproof" drink container with a built-in straw. The straw is nicely shaped so it would be comfortable if you could convince your kid to put it in his mouth. Also, if you squeeze the sides even slightly, it pushes the liquid up the straw. If you can get him to put the straw into his mouth, this might help make a transition to sucking?<br><br>
Here is a link to a product like I am talking about:<a href="http://www.rubbermaid.com/hpd/consumer/product/detail.jhtml?prod=HPFG311500SVIOL&attributeId=&nextType=&currentType=&locationId=&thirdMenuIndex=" target="_blank">http://www.rubbermaid.com/hpd/consum...hirdMenuIndex=</a><br>
They come in a smaller size, but I couldn't find that one on the website. I hope this helps.
 

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where do you get therapy? if you go to a full service agency (like Easter Seals) you should be able to just schedule an eval.<br><br>
I love easter seals and I can't recommend them enough. they used to alert me of possible issues - not wait till I brought stuff to their attention.<br><br>
Not putting anything in his mouth is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed by a speech therapist. the OT may be able to help a little in that area so it's good you are seeing one soon <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> but he'll need speech too.<br><br>
if he already has DD you should be in the system and able to push for the services. do you go to an annual eval by a state agency? he's 16 mo so not really close enough to two years for the annual eval... but that's also someplace you can push for more services....
 

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Maybe start using a straw every time you have a drink... & blow bubbles... that ought to get him interested!! Of course, theres a downside to him knowing how to blow bubbles... but he'd learn it eventually anyway!
 

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Can he have a straw in the tub? DD didn't "get" a straw until we let her blow LOTS of bubbles in the tub with hers.<br><br>
And I second the idea of using one yourself.<br><br>
Is he into reading? Can you find books about elephants or other animals that have "Straws" they use?
 

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Oh boy.<br><br>
My mom got Adia started on her straw "little bird style" with drops of...you guessed it...Pepsi. At the time, she was dehydrated and suffering the aftereffects of vicious pneumonia (until now, her only illness) and it was a blessing to get anything down her. Anyway, after her recovery, she clamored for more and Byebye (that's what she calls my mother!) gave it to her...if she could suck it up the straw. Unfortunately...she could.<br><br>
She won't do sippy cups, and she doesn't like drinking from regular cups (our dentist and I think her front teeth are sensitive) so a straw's our usual option. She does love to blow bubbles in the tub, but she prefers bubble bath to that...<br><br>
If it makes you feel better, she's almost 20 months old and she very rarely says more than "what dis?" or "what?" or "baby," or "puppy."
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kallalillie</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh boy.<br><br>
My mom got Adia started on her straw "little bird style" with drops of...you guessed it...Pepsi. At the time, she was dehydrated and suffering the aftereffects of vicious pneumonia (until now, her only illness) and it was a blessing to get anything down her. Anyway, after her recovery, she clamored for more and Byebye (that's what she calls my mother!) gave it to her...if she could suck it up the straw. Unfortunately...she could.<br></div>
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Omigosh! This reminded me of when DS was a baby & made a big fuss about drinks with straws. I'd hold out the straw for him to satisfy his curiousity... he'd just roll the straw around in his mouth & not get a drop of my drink. Until one day, he took a big gulp!! I should've seen that coming!! I'm sure he was only 14 or 16 months old. I had assumed his first taste of pop would be much later than that! :LOL
 

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HI Erin first of all any state you reside in should allow him to have ST svcs especially since there are feeding issues. Have they said about doing a swallow study?<br><br>
ON another note I have a wonderful way you can try to get him to improve his oral motor skills and can even pass along to his OT to help others. This seems to work everytime even though for some it takes a while and others they catch on quick..<br><br>
Go to a sallys beauty supply or any other beauty store that sells empty hair dye bottles then purchase a clear tubing the kind that is used for fish tanks. Now cut the tip of the bottle just a tiny bit but enough to squeeze the straw in however DONT ALLOW ANY SPACE in between the straw and tip of the bottle it as to fit tight.. then fill with liquid what this does is with the slightest mouth mvmt or slightly touching the bottle the liquid moves up.. if this doesnt make sense email me <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]om</a> this is actually a great activity for anyone trying to improve oral motor or just straw drinking........ any other questions please let me know and i will try and help as much as possible.<br><br><br>
Walmart has a teething toy that vibrates this is great for oral motor stimulation and tactile<br>
michele
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting idea! Thanks!<br><br>
I have a water bottle and filled it with some apple juice mixed with water. it's purple with happy faces on it and he must think it's cute or something cuz he let me put it in his mouth! So I squeezed some juice in there and he loved it. But most dribbled out of his mouth. But he will stick his tongue out now to indicate he wants the juice. I guess this is progress. Just getting something other than a spoon near his mouth is a big deal.
 
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